Sunday, June 15, 2014

Recalling the Father's Love

Today I am reminded again of the gifts, the insights He has given me. I recall those discreet moments where I have witnessed both father and son in prayer, at Mass, in active religious activity, and in the world. There were moments, special to me, in Rome at the General Audience across the vehicle path, another outside St. Paul Outside the Walls in the park area, and then recently one evening in Bastrop going to Mass at Ascension Parish. They gave me pause for prayer, joy, and hope. The Lord knows all good timing and of the things suitable and needed for such a vocation.

The importance of a father is not that he should be perfect but that He aims for perfection—that is goodness and selflessness of the One who is his Father—and, when that father falls short of this task, to run to Him so that He may remain in Him and his son may remain also in Him, as the Father is in the Son and the Son in the Father and both dwelling in the ones here below in their mirroring image. We may not be able to do this under our own volition, but, with God, all things are possible.

I continue to have the opportunity, the grace, to be able to approach the altar of our Lord each early Sunday morning and offer my desires, however ennobled, to Him. Today especially.

Today we celebrate Father's Day in the United States. In the Church we also celebrate Trinity Sunday, the Sunday following Pentecost. The beauty of this linked connection is that the Trinity is the sign of the life-giving example of God, in the three-persons which gives us glimpse into His triune love and His nature. We follow His example and love, and we have our beloved... and from so great a love the love that is between the two itself lives in the Holy Spirit.

This past month and from Rome, my heart has continued to contemplate these weighty thoughts and to have refined my desires through them. As it is, we rise to that which we aspire to in example. And my heart burns... What grace it is to have a hope in something unseen but promised. It is the hope given to Abraham and his descendants, even to his servant David.

...And, still, how great it is to call God "Abba! Father!"

To those earthly fathers amongst us, thank you. May God continue to strengthen you as holy men after His own heart and His example. To our spiritual fathers, may God bless you in the nourishment you hand on. And, from me, you who are young fathers, know that you give us great hope in the promise of Our Father in Heaven.

As we know from the words of St. Paul, "hope does not disappoint." Thanks be to God.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Prayer of the Family

How do I foolishly desire to be rid of the darkness of trial and temptation, insofar as my dimmed understanding permits me even to express now. It is not a matter of temptation to love something more than God that ones striving towards the Holy One should be most concerned about, though proper ordering of love is a prudent necessity. No, it is the temptation to doubt the gift given to one who experiences great trial and doubt in response. This darkness in question is the poisonous fumes of doubt that question the gifts because of oneself. They wrongly question the giver's sanity and not the standard of the gifted that one visits review upon and to whom the talents have been given.

A lack of response to prayer is not a lack of prayer. A lack of receptivity in so-called prayer is itself the absence of true prayer, not the feeling of emptiness or fullness. We are earthen vessels who are prone to seeping that which we are filled with; neither can we fill without first being open to receiving. Love must be the act of will present in prayer to be open to the blinding fires of Love before us if we are ready to be refined in and proved through this refining fire of Love.

O Act of Love... in thee I stand. With thee I pray, those indescribable words in exaltation to Him Who Is... May I too be bound by the Holy Family through which all instruction took form and place from of youth and until His Bloody Passion as the Paschal Lamb.

O St. Joseph, patron of the Universal Church and patron saint of families... I choose thee in this same love for my family to be. Dear St. Joseph, pray for all of our families in all their states and dispositions, that they may mirror the Trinity in love. St. Joseph, especially pray for my family and spouse to be. May I mirror your love in chastity to give myself to her in fruitful and unyielding love. May your prayers usher God's grace in me to be patient in its timing and form, that I may not grow hasty or worried over any outward appearance of failure but trust in the Heralds of God who announce the Good News. May God grant the peace necessary to answer this prayer in the silence as well as in the active. Patron Saint of the Family, guide me with your prayer to the works God has prepared within me, those works of great love He wills for me.

Lord God, Eternal Father, grant this prayer and petition in the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns forever with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

St. Joseph, Patron Saint of the Universal Church and of all families, pray for us!